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Protecting Florida

Protecting Florida Habitats from Sea Level Rise

Florida is home to more than 21 million people living in some of the fastest-growing cities and counties in the United States. With 1,350 miles of coastline, every Florida resident is no more than 60 miles from the ocean. 

Floridians are already experiencing the impacts of sea level rise on a daily basis in the form of more damaging king tides, deeper saltwater intrusion into aquifers and more frequent flooding. Florida’s rich coastal ecosystems support the economy and improve quality of life, while also offering nature-based solutions to limit the impacts of sea level rise. However, these ecosystems are also vulnerable to these impacts due to rising waters and shifting salinities.

Florida’s coastal communities may experience between three to eight feet of sea level rise by the end of this century. An estimated 7.4 million people, or more than 30% of Florida’s population, live within six feet of current sea levels.

Florida must protect, restore and enhance coastal ecosystems while reconstructing their infrastructure so that coastal communities can build resilience to sea level rise while nurturing the state’s unique biodiversity. Ocean Conservancy commissioned this web tool to help communities and policymakers understand the threats of sea level rise more clearly while harnessing the full potential of coastal habitats to manage risks by implementing practical, evidence-based solutions.

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